Change makes me anxious. Today a big change occurs. People float in and out of your life everyday. Sometimes the smallest encounter can make the biggest impact. Over a year ago at my company we had a "FNG" (effin new guy). She was small and ridiculous and liked to talk. A LOT. I do maths for a living so I had to share an office with her and I tend to block out external noise so I won't be confused when adding large sums. I didn't really pay her mind. She was the FNG. I wasn't accepting applications for friendship at that time. I had the damnedest time remembering her name. I knew it started with an "A"....but what was it??? Amber, Agnes, Angela, Amanda???
A few of my co-workers, who know that I have an issue with remembering names told me, on purpose mind you, that her name was Amber. I started to call her as this. Slowly I find that her name is actually Ashley. (thanks guys). I still, to this day, call her Amber.
Slowly my defenses came down and we began to talk more. I found we had a lot in common and the stuff we didn't have in common just made her more interesting. We talked of going out shopping sometime together, a task we both enjoy if the price is right. We never did. A month later, at our company Holiday party I got to meet her boyfriend, when introduced he said: "So you are the Penny that is taking over my life". Apparently I was just as interesting to her as well :)
From there our friendship grew. I was at an interesting period in my life. I was afraid to be me. The real me, the me that my husband, family and closest friends know. It was a struggle to wear so many hats, exhausting. I was afraid to open up. I held so much bitterness in my heart. I think this was because I wanted so badly to just be me and have people be okay with that. I'm childish, I'm kind of crazy, I like to sing, I wasn't your average late twenty-something with a husband and kids. I felt like I didn't fit in and in other ways I didn't want to fit in. That would open me up for disappointment and judgement.
I think Ashley/Amber and I are so alike in our personalities, only she wasn't afraid to show hers. She's in your face, she doesn't care what people think as long as she is happy with her and she wasn't afraid to voice her opinion on anything (no matter how redic..haha). She impacted my life. I had begun to see a therapist for insomnia and slowly I noticed a change occurring. Things didn't bother me as much. I began to really be me, everywhere. I began to see people and all of the things that used make me so bitter didn't anymore. I began to empathize with folks. I started to think and understand that if I wanted people to accept me in all of my splendor than it really wasn't fair for me to not accept them for what they are. Whatever that may be. I just wanted to be happy. I started to see that if other people were happy with their lot in life and with themselves than thats all that matters and I should be happy for them. I am. I think it's awesome.
Ashley/Amber was a by product of these new beginnings for me. I opened up with her. I let her in. I found some really amazing results in this. She always listened to me if I needed it. Really listened. She cares about me. Genuinely. She has always stuck by me, without a justification, through some interesting times and issues. I know that if I needed her for anything she would jump in her car and be there (and she has). I can tell her/say anything to her and she just accepts this. Without question. It just is. No judgement, no raised eyebrows, no smart ass remarks, just me being me and she's completely cool with that.
Today Ashley/Amber is leaving our company. She is on to other things and her presence/singing/chatter/ridiculousness will be truly missed. I will miss our spur of the moment decisions to grab "din-din" after work, go to Borders to wander or our evening "discuss" after work every day. She even gets coffee with me and doesn't even drink coffee..she just goes to go. I know we will continue to see each other and hang out and grab "din din" but work will definitely not be the same. Our office will feel extra empty without her big presence to fill it.
So to my Amber I say this: Good luck with the new job. You will be missed and thought of every day. Always text me and always know that I think you are amazing and hope that we remain friends for a life time.
blog title by Jimmy EAt World-Polaris